The Curse of the Pharaohs is the second volume in Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody murder mystery series, and is another enjoyable adventure in Egyptian archaeology. Peabody and Emerson are resigned to staying in England, parenting their indefatigable offspring, Ramses, but when Lord Baskerville (as Peters states NOT one of the Devonshire Baskervilles) dies suddenly while on a dig in the Valley of the Kings, stories of the curse of the pharaohs make big headlines in the tabloids, and Emerson is persuaded to take over the dig. Neither he nor Peabody believe in a curse, but something sinister is clearly afoot, and it is going to take a great deal of courage and resourcefulness to sort it all out.

This is a great fun read, with a good sturdy mystery at the centre. It's also fun for any archaeology fans with some smashing in-jokes - Emerson just misses out on discovering Tutankhamen's tomb, and is responsible for the waste heap that some unknown (until now!) archaeologist will leave on the entrance to King Tut's tomb. As ever Peters knows what she's talking about when it comes to Egyptology, and the Peabody mysteries are a happy mish-mash of Indiana Jones/Agatha Christie and Carry on Mummy. Not the most intellectual of reads, but very enjoyable.


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